A beautiful sunny day – Day 5 of our Alaska trip and we got ready by 10 am with our packed lunch from the café. And drove to the Denali National Park entrance which was only about 15 minutes from the cabins. Stopped at the entrance for a few minutes and clicked a few pictures.

Denali National Park Entrance

From here, we drove to the Denali Visitor center, which is about1.5 miles from the park entrance. We bought the park tickets, downloaded the maps and picked up the information brochures. Due to COVID, the exhibits were not open to public and the free shuttle buses were also not available but the good part was – we could go in the park with our own vehicle up to the Savage River. Private vehicles are restricted beyond the Mile 15 and if anyone wants to drive further in their own car they need a permit.

Denali Visitor Center

We drove by the Riley creek and kept our eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of the elusive Denali. It is called elusive Denali , as only about 30% of the people who come to see it – are able to see it actually due to the unpredictable weather. And we can call ourselves lucky, as we got an amazing view of the mountain in the park. On the way to the Savage river, with clear skies to help – we finally saw the mighty Denali. It was incredibly amazing to see it in all its glory.

The snow-covered mighty Denali (in white) – ‘Denali’ means ‘the High one’ for Athabascan Indians north of the Alaskan Range

Seeing the Denali was the biggest tick on our list of things to see/do in Alaska. We spent some time there enjoying the perfect views before moving on to Mile 15. On the way there, we stopped to see a mountain sheep and at the Savage Cabin trail- we parked to do the trail but one sweet lady came to us and told us that there was a Moose spotted on the trail and asked us to be careful. We said thanks to that lady and got off the car and right at the beginning of the trail – there was a moose walking around & exploring. We just watched it for some time and went back to the car like many others. It was so awesome to see a Moose, you can’t leave Alaska without seeing one.

Moose in Denali National Park

From there, we drove to the Savage River and parked our car and walked around the lovely river by the mountains before starting the Savage Alpine trail which was about 4 miles with an elevation change of 1200 feet. We climbed up the rocky hill and it was quite a hike with stops on the way for water and catching breath.

Savage River in Denali National Park

Once we climbed down and finished the trail – we sat on one of the benches for sometime and had snacks. As we couldn’t drive into the park any further without a permit, we turned back and started driving. Ready for our next trail, we parked near the beginning of the Mountain Vista Trail.

It was a super fun trail of about 2 miles, we clicked pictures and enjoyed the wilderness. After completing the trail, we had our lunch and drove around the park for some time before going back to the cabins.

Same evening, we had another adventure planned and I will be writing about it in my next post.

Copyright © Vasudha Aggarwal & travel-defined.com. All rights reserved.


Published by Vasudha Aggarwal

Love exploring new places? We do, too. Welcome to 'Traveldefined'. This blog is a way of storytelling for me - mainly, about our travel adventures. My Husband and I - we are fond of touring around the country, enjoy delving into history, love clicking memorable pictures and are firm believers of spontaneous road trips (our all-time favorites).

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